“. . . for me one thing stands above all as a barometer of his character.
And that’s the quality of the young men and women who are his friends. Friends like his – whether in the rink, the gym or the classroom – will help pick you up on bad days and celebrate your good ones.
We’re proud of him and we’re proud of them all. Here’s to great years of health, opportunity and prosperity for all of them.”
– Teamoakville, June 29, 2011 on the occasion of my first son’s high school graduation
On Friday night Laura and I were standing in a field next to a church on Dundas Street, just west of the Sixteen Mile Sport Complex.
The annual Relay for Life fundraiser to raise money to fight cancer was just getting rolling and Chris and two of his friends were on hand to be part of the entertainment for people who planned to spend the next 24 hours walking and running to raise money.
It wasn’t what you would call Woodstock, but as the appointed hour drew closer more and more people showed up, not to mention a bunch of kids from Abbey Park who, as they always do for each other, came just to support their friends. First some; then more.
There was a real stage set up, about four and half feet above the ground. Laura walked around and took pictures, which anyone who knows us and her knows that that is what she does. I sat in a chair near the front and watched the trio and in spite of myself I couldn’t help but reflect on all that was and all that is.
Chris and his friends will graduate from high school on Thursday night in a ritual that is remarkable only to those who are directly involved but to those of us who are on that list, it still feels like a pretty big day.
Somewhere between their cover of the Arctic Monkeys “Do I Wanna Know” and Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” it occurred to me that those words I wrote almost exactly three years ago are true again today. As a parent, few things could make us prouder. Continue reading